Wednesday, April 11, 2012
It is often said the Roosevelt Bar is soaked in history. And while it has likely seen its share of celebutantes and debrities, one figure looms above all others in the bar's history: Huey P. Long. Admittedly, I am not the hugest fan of Louisiana's most loved politician. Long is to blame for roughly 90% of the huckster, shyster politicians who predominate this fair state. Of course, when balanced against Tiger Stadium, Long seems less blameworthy for Aaron Broussard and his ilk.
If the Roosevelt Hotel was Long's home away from Baton Rouge, the Sazerac Bar was his home office. And his drink of choice was the Ramos Gin Fizz, a refreshing blend of gin, egg whites, lemon juice, orange blossom water, and soda. Some recipes call for cream and/or simple syrup, but the basic flavor of the drink is a bright floral, citrusy quaff. If you haven't had one, wait for the next really hot day and see why it was so beloved in the days before central air.
The white jacketed bartenders in the Sazerac make a more than acceptable version. The bartender pours the drink with a fair amount of flair, holding the mixing glass on high as the frothy, blend tumbles into the glass. The drink develops in the glass with a top layer of nearly whipped cream followed by the fragrance of a light gin cocktail.
Wrapped in the dark woods and murals, the comfortable seats are perfect for hiding from the onslaught of a Friday afternoon. But those same seats are where my one problem with the Sazerac Bar develops. Often and expectantly, the Sazerac Bar is crowded with the seats and bar stools taken. No problem, you will stand in line and wait for a drink. But lo and behold, a table has opened up just as your drink is being served. You give the bartender your card and tell him to keep it open. If you sit down, finish your drink and attempt to order another one, be prepared for the following reactions from a cocktail server.
1) "I am sorry if you opened your tab at the bar, you need to order from the bar."
2) "Did you open a tab at the bar? (Sigh). I'll see if I can get a drink for you."
3) "I'll be right back to take your order. (Does not return)"
4) "Yes, I'll take care of that for you."
Hopefully you get the fourth response.
Sazerac Bar- Is It Worth It? Likely.
123 Baronne Street